Opinion

FPL Question Time – Planning for future Blank and Double Gameweeks

With Double Gameweek 25 yet to conclude on Wednesday night, Fantasy Premier League managers are thinking more long-term this week.

The latest edition of Question Time sees us discuss the future Blank and Double Gameweeks, and the best strategies for planning for them.

That includes how we can use our free transfers to get us through the period which contains Blank Gameweek 27 and Blank Gameweek 31, as well as when to use the chips.

We’ve also looked at what goalkeepers can help Fantasy managers out, with very few obvious candidates right now, with Eden Hazard (£10.9m) also discussed.

Who’s on the panel this week?

Joe – A long-time contributor to these pages, Scoutcaster and host of our Meet the Manager video series. Joe came into Gameweek 25 ranked 10,185 in the world and has seven top 10k finishes to his name already, one of which was an OR of 840 in 2013/14.

WGTA Nick – One half of the double act that is Who Got the Assist?, the popular website, podcast and Twitter account.

FPL Family – Lee and Sam are the well-known married couple who play Fantasy football together and run a YouTube channel documenting their thoughts. They have appeared on the Official FPL show this season, most recently as last Thursday. We’ve got Lee this time!

Question 1 – Joe

Vankush: The fear of Blank Gameweek 31 is hindering me getting in players in the run-up to it. When is it best to start thinking about the dreaded blanks and which players will form the core?

Joe: “Be aware of the upcoming Blank and Double Gameweeks from here on in, but don’t start the detailed planning until shortly before the Gameweek 27 deadline.

“That’s when FA Cup fifth round matches will be completed and we will know all those who will face a Blank in Gameweek 31 and those to likely miss out in Gameweek 33.

“From that point, we can start planning which of our remaining chips we use to navigate those Gameweeks and the Double fixtures, which are likely to be scheduled in Gameweeks 32 and 35.

“Until then be flexible and give yourself options around chip use by investing in good players from teams that play in Gameweek 31 and those that could miss a fixture.

“There are eight teams that definitely play then: West Ham, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Burnley, Leicester, Fulham and Liverpool.

Of those Liverpool have an abundance of options. If you haven’t already doubled up Mohamed Salah with either Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino that is a move I’d recommend. A Reds defender also looks a must. With Bournemouth, Watford and Burnley at home before Gameweek 31 tripling up could pay off handsomely.

“From Gameweek 30 Bournemouth have superb fixtures and look an ideal source of value players with Josh King and Ryan Fraser perhaps the key options.

“An attacking Leicester defender such as Ricardo Pereira or Ben Chilwell also look strong from Gameweek 27 onwards, when they face Crystal Palace, Brighton and Fulham at home ahead of their Gameweek 31 visit to Burnley.

“By focusing on a handful of these players you give yourself the luxury of being able to also invest in some key players who are likely to miss out in Gameweek 31.

“With Fulham, Crystal Palace and Southampton in their next four, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford look great options to get in.

“Similarly, with Leicester, Burnley and Southampton over Spurs’ next five I see Son Heung-min as an important player to own.

“Above all be flexible so that when Blank and Double Gameweek details emerge you will be in the best position possible.”

Question 2 – Nick

Rash: Going off the information we have so far, what is the optimum chip strategy if you hold a Wildcard, Free Hit, Triple Captain and Bench Boost?

Nick: “With all the chips intact, I would set out my team to ensure that I have coverage in both the upcoming Blank Gameweeks (27 and 31), looking at the likes of Liverpool, Bournemouth and Leicester as examples of teams which we know are going to play.”

“The first big Double looks set for Gameweek 32, so this would be a great moment to Wildcard, in my opinion.

“However, there is a blank in Gameweek 33 so that is perhaps the time to use the Free Hit, so you don’t have to shift things too much for the next Double in Gameweek 35, which looks good for the Bench Boost.

“It is worth mentioning that Chelsea may also have another Double at some point which might present itself as a good opportunity to use the Triple Captain chip if you haven’t used it already.”

Question 3 – FPL Family

FPL Virgin: For those of us with a less-than-enviable rank, is it time to start hitting the differentials yet?

Lee: “While I don’t think the panic button should be hit just yet, it could well be time to start looking closer at the TSB percentages.

“If, after all your analysis, you simply can’t decide between two players for your transfer in this week, then go with the player that has the lowest ownership.

“Your risk profile also plays a part here – just how ‘differential’ do you want to be? For some, it might be Triple Captain Crouch time, but for most it will be a calculated risk.

“West Ham, for example, have some great fixtures coming up over the next half a dozen Gameweeks, yet Felipe Anderson is owned by only 12.2% of FPL managers at time of writing.

“Many indeed, have elected to sell the Brazilian which, given his form, seems a sensible decision – yet his encouraging display against Liverpool in Gameweek 25 might suggest that we are about to hit another streak of form.

“As ever, getting on a form player early is going to be key, differentials tend only to be differentials for a week or two in FPL, before the masses pile in.

“Taking early, calculated gambles on players with decent looking fixtures should help FPL managers recover their Overall Ranks – but seriously, Triple-Captain Peter Crouch!”

Question 4 – Joe

Rahmat Aziz: Apart from Ryan (as I already have Duffy), what Goalkeeper is best to replace Ederson after Double Gameweek 25?

Joe: “The easy answer is to spend a little more and get the game’s highest-scoring goalkeeper Liverpool’s Allison, who is guaranteed to play every week as the Reds have no blank fixtures.

“But if you want to spend less then make sure you keep a close eye on fixtures as well as save and bonus point potential.

“In terms of fixtures, Gameweeks 26 through to Gameweek 33 is a good section to look at as it will take many Fantasy managers up to the likely deployment of their second Wildcard.

Leicester, Newcastle, Huddersfield, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Burnley look the best bets for clean sheets, aside from Brighton, over that run.

“Of those, Eagles number one Vicente Guaita looks the stand-out pick, in terms of value and having accrued four shut-outs in the eight starts since he took the number one jersey from Wayne Hennessey in Gameweek 17.

“Guaita has also notched save points on four occasions, helping him to earn two bonus against Cardiff in Gameweek 19. But with a possible blank in Gameweek 31, it may pay to ensure you have a playing second goalkeeper to cover him then.

“Another option I like is Watford’s Ben Foster, who offers clean sheet potential against Everton, Cardiff, Leicester, Southampton and Fulham and the chance of save points against Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs up to and including Gameweek 33.

“Over the last six matches, Foster was joint top for saves (27) alongside Manchester United’s David De Gea and has kept two clean sheets. Also in Foster’s favour is his collection of bonus points on five occasions across the campaign.

“Be aware though he may also miss Gameweek 31 due to FA Cup postponements.

“A final option to mention is Burnley’s Tom Heaton, who only faces two tough games over his next ten matches and is guaranteed a fixture in Gameweek 31. Since he became a regular starter in Gameweek 20 he has earned two shut-outs, save points on four occasions and three bonus points.

Question 5 – Nick

Greg: Hazard did well against Huddersfield but his next three look tough. Do I sell him to raise some much-needed funds and switch the team up?

Nick: “I no longer own Hazard so would recommend you keep as he is clearly going to haul big!

“Joking aside, I can understand the logic behind wanting to sell Hazard. Their fixtures in the next three Gameweeks are Manchester City, Blank and Spurs, so it is worth considering some of the options out there.

“The likes of Son and Pogba are looking like key assets to own so if you don’t have them already I would be making space for them and freeing up some cash in the process.

“Son has seven goals in as many games and has really stepped up as the Spurs talisman in Kane’s absence.

“Pogba is now matching Salah for shots on target across the whole season, nobody has more than their 39 each. Manchester United have Fulham up next who have conceded the most goals in the league with 55, so Pogba definitely a player I would recommend in the midfield if you don’t already own him.”

Question 6 – Family

Rigid Digit: Who are the viable third strikers? Ings is proving fragile and I’m not convinced by Deeney, so I’m considering Rondon. Any other options in the £6.0m or less bracket worth a look?

Lee: “Danny Ings just can’t stay fit can he? I feel for him as he was just starting to make that forward spot in Hassenhüttl’s team his own – and the Saints themselves are showing some good form.

“Both Deeney and Rondon are viable alternatives, with the Venezuelan my preferred option here – Newcastle have some excellent looking fixtures coming up, including Huddersfield, Burnley and Everton at home in the next five Gameweeks.

“Outside of those two, it’s slim pickings. Harry Kane has been pictured doing some light training in Dubai, with some media outlets reporting he could be back as soon as the Dortmund game in the Champions League on 13th February – so you would think that puts an end to Fernando Llorente’s brief spell as an FPL option up top for Spurs.

“Ashley Barnes remains a steady, if slightly underwhelming pick for Burnley. Only one double-digit haul for Barnes across the whole season (back in Gameweek 6), but goals more recently against Arsenal, Man Utd and Southampton keeps him ticking over – so at £5.6m, you can’t complain.

“You could also go ultra-cheap with Peter Crouch or Dom Solanke, who will see the odd minute or two, the latter maybe more so while Callum Wilson is injured – but I would encourage you to keep your expectations low with those two.

“If you can find a bit more cash down the back of the sofa, West Ham’s Chicarito is only £6.1m and a decent value option which Arnautovic remains sidelined. Michy Batshuayi also joined Palace on transfer deadline day and was very kindly priced in my opinion at £6.5m, he came on for eight minutes in his debut last GW and picked up an assist against Fulham.

“I foresee a lot of game time for the Belgian between now and the end of the season, which could see him make a mockery of that price tag.”

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1,356 Comments Post a Comment
  1. HurriKane
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    So what should i prioritize? (both matches played at the same time)

    A) Watch El Classico

    B) Watch Sane(C) against Everton

    1. HurriKane
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      * Sane(C) + Richarlison

    2. CRO KLOPP
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      A if Messi play
      B if Sane play

      1. HurriKane
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        imagine el classico without messi and ronaldo. reckon will lose half of the viewers worldwide

        1. CRO KLOPP
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 12 days ago

          Yes,Messi is el clasico,maybe with Hazard next year...

    3. The 5% Team
      1 month, 12 days ago

      A of course

    4. George James
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      What channel you watching city game on?

    5. Mooster
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Was it fun to watch Sané?:)

  2. Atimis
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Pick 2 to play next week:

    1. Shaw
    2. WB
    3. Bednarek

    Im defo playing Doherty and benching Digne also

    1. HurriKane
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      1 and 3.

    2. tibollom
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      1 + 2

  3. Disturbed
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Play Digne or awb?

    1. HurriKane
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Digne. will return defo after baines calimity last gw. his attacking threat is hard to ignore. even if everton concede he's likely to get you attacking returns (from croners freekicks )

      1. Disturbed
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        Sounds good, cheers

  4. The Train Driver
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    "I know what I am going to do. I have taken a decision." This was the response Eden Hazard gave when asked about his future."

    So either big salary rise or club switch?

    1. HurriKane
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      he'll be gone to madrid next season.

  5. fenixri
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Hi people, how does my team look for next gw? Thinking to save FT and then ditch Chelsea players

    Fab
    Doherty Taa Awb Kolasinac
    Salah(c) Hazard Pogba
    Auba Rashford Jimenez

    Subs: Boruc, Fraser, Alonso, GibbsWhite

    1. HurriKane
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      hazard to son looks no brainer for me

  6. Scholsey
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Mata transferred out by 1011 teams and had a price drop of 0.1. How are the prices managed?

    1. MyBall MyRules
      1 month, 12 days ago

      I'm less surprised by the price drop than by the fact 1011 players owned him

    2. George James
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      It’s based on his overall ownership

  7. OptimusBlack
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Who is the best for incoming fixtures ?

    A - Jiménez
    B- Vardy after Spurs he has very good Fixtures

  8. teriyaki 69
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    price rises had to come by these days , or maybe I'm too impatient to hold on to players long enough. Too many good options. This is the only season where the hokey cokey approach of playing the game isn't detrimental.

    1. teriyaki 69
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      ***hard

  9. Ynwalfc
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Anyone with me captaining Aubameyang over Salah?

    1. Flapjack ✅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      I’m thinking Rashford or Pogba tbh

      Out of Salah and Auba it’s a tough call

    2. Ynwalfc
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Thanks, watched the last two Liverpool games and Salah has been really poor

    3. Jellyfish
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      I am considering leaving it on Kun again

      1. danishdynamite
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        I haven't ruled out keeping Kun one more week and doing this. Depends on his mins against Everton tonight and City's overall performance.

        If they look like they have their mojo back then I can't see any reason they wouldn't score against CHE

        More than Auba though? Hmm

    4. danishdynamite
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Yup, me

      Salah's been dogmuck the last two times I've seen him

    5. Hakim Ziyech
      1 month, 12 days ago

      I was thinking Son before the west ham game. Now I am no longer "thinking". Son it is.

      1. danishdynamite
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        Son (C) vs Leicester ?

        1. Hakim Ziyech
          1 month, 12 days ago

          That sounds so right

          1. danishdynamite
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 12 days ago

            Ballsy ...... now., I was gonna point out that Leicester aren't conceeding many chances ...... but after a quick shuftie at the team stats, TOT sit top of the tree (last 4) for shots (Total shots, Shots ITB and Big chances)

            That's impressive stuff for a team that aren't easy on the eye these last few weeks

            1. Bojaninho
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 12 days ago

              Interesting.

              I can't really make up my mind on Leicester, sometimes look good and sometimes look clueless..

            2. Hakim Ziyech
              1 month, 12 days ago

              That looks really good, hopefully shots get converted to goals and Sonny gets involved. Thanks buddy

              1. Bojaninho
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 12 days ago

                With help from the GK ala last weekend

    6. Me Spurs
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Has to be auba v HUD there terrible

    7. Ynwalfc
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      I’ve been looking at games were Huddersfield come up against the top 6 teams. They mostly get hammered

  10. Flapjack ✅
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Apparently the “FML FPL SLACK COMMUNITY” were anti Kun captain and anti Kun TC.

    Like and subscribe.

  11. Bavarian
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 12 days ago

    which move?
    1-Sane-Richarlison > Son-Anderson
    2-Robertson-Richarlison > Kolasinac-Son

    1. JT11fc
      1 month, 12 days ago

      1

      1. Bavarian
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 12 days ago

        Thank you

    2. SirT83
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      1

  12. JT11fc
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Fab
    Trent* doherty bednarek
    Salah mane sterling sane pogba
    Rashford jiminez

    Steele awb digne kamara

    1 Sterling + kamara to auba hayden
    2 save

    1. kuzser
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      1

  13. Patch
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Hazard to Son

    #thank me later.

    Then next week if Arsenal play in the blanks, ditch Ings to Aub

    That will ensure a bit more players for the BGW 27

  14. lappingitup
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    So if Wolves go out I’ll be ok, otherwise it’s FH GW31

  15. Bojaninho
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    1.Richarlison against old team....hmm anyone fancy keeping?

    2.Sterling > Son or Mane this weekend?

    3.Keep Kun and transfer to Auba for the blank.

  16. JohnRoss
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Sane.

    Aside from Chelsea next and blank, what’s your view? Worth keeping for the run in?

    Pep tends to limit his minutes against the bigger teams, but City now have most of those games out of the way now.

    Mandy’s return also a concern but with the race against Liverpool being tight, city will need to score plenty I think?

    1. elchilangles
      1 month, 11 days ago

      after he blanked when i made him captain this DGW he is now dead to me!

  17. geoffrolph
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Is there any updated excel spredsheet to help navigate these upcoming blacks and doubles?

  18. Lukakuna
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Who's the best 5th mid for reliable starts and possibility of returns? (4.2 - 5.0 bracket)

  19. Udo
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Question, where do you goes watch the match? Reddit is gone, or do I miss something?

  20. Wolfman180
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Sterling to Son or bank the transfer?